We parked at the former entrance to the now derelict farmhouse and it was an easy enough matter to walk across the field to these two huge standing stones.
Although the stones are not visible from the road you can’t help but see them if you follow the hedge – either side will do.
One stone is approx 4m high x 2m across (thin) while the other is 3m high x 2m across x 1m deep. Both stones are covered in ‘hairy’ lichen
I also spotted a large stone in the hedge which has been used as a gate post.
I don’t know if this stone is part of the stone circle or not?
I found it impossible to imagine these stones as part of a stone circle.
There are great views to be had over to Snowdonia in the distance.
The stones are towering above me in the early dawn light, looming in the darkness in front of me like a pair of stone colossi. Waking up extra early, I've walked here from the holiday cottage where we will be seeing in the New Year, eager to visit some of the sites on Ynys Mon I've never seen.
Leaving everyone else in bed I grabbed a torch and OS map and set off for the stones and nearby henge. Navigating through the quagmire of mud from yesterdays heavy rains, I tramped across the field. The stones themselves are huge and chunky, this would have been such an impressive site as an intact circle consisting of megaliths this large. I'm pleased to see the stones cruel misuse as gateposts seems to be at an end, the rusting gate I'd seen in previous photos being nowhere to be seen. Now the stones act more like a ritual entranceway, leading you towards the henge of Castel Bryn Gwyn in the next field.
I give the stones a hug on my way past to the henge as the sun starts to peek above the horizon for the last time this year, being here at dawn is just magical. I think I'd underestimated Bryn Gwyn in the past, the picture in the big papery TMA doesn't do it justice. It's definitely worth stopping by to see these huge stones, and nearby henge if you're on Anglesey.
In the picture I posted above I show the stones as viewed from a distance of about 45 feet.
According to Burl (Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany 1995, 2005), quoting the Reverend Henry Rowlands, this site contained a circle of 'eight or nine great pillar-stones... about twelve or fourteen yards diameter'.
Is it possible to imagine a stone just in front of my position and an arc of maybe three or four megaliths continuing on either side to meet at the pair opposite?
On reaching this pair of stones, I think we were all in awe at their sheer immensity. The first, a slender, wide, leaf-shaped monolith, stands a clear 13 feet tall – I thought it looked more like 18 feet, personally. Next to it sulks a brooding, ten foot high rectangular block of rock. Although impressive, I wasn't as keen on the energy of this place. It was in total contrast to the elegant airiness of Penrhos Feilw. There is a suggestion that they are the remains of a stone circle – that must have been one hell of a sight! I think they were a couple of try-outs for comparison, and got left in a field by the early engineers . . .
This pair of weird whoppers stand strangely straddling a rusty gate. They are enormous! One's quite flat and perhaps 18 feet tall and the other is dumpy, but make no mistake, they're Big Mothers! The notes say they may be what remains of a stone circle, but I'm not sure I buy this theory. These are just too goddamned gigantic for that and too close together for the proportions to make sense. A burial chamber perhaps, but not a circle surely. Check 'em out for yourself. They're ace!
I was here in September, these are big stones. I walked down the farm lane, by the house is a stile.From the distance they are your usual standing stones but when you reach them their size is unbelievable. If you are on the island check them out.
Visited 2nd August 2003: Ever since I first read about them, I've been fascinated by these stones, and at last I've got to visiting them. It's no secret that they're big, but you have to stand next to them to get a real idea of just how big. They're much larger than anything else in the area, and standing next to them you can't help wondering about everything that's been lost here. This is an excellent place. I'll definately be back.
Fabulous site. Unlike the famous (restored) Anglesey monuments, this one is pretty much ignored in the CADW guide and promotional 'places to visit' brochures. The powers that be haven't signposted it with a 'this way to the ancient monument' sign, even though it's only a minute's walk from the nearest A road.
From Brynsiencyn on the A4080 heading for Newborough, drive past the layby parking for Castell Bryn-Gwyn. A short distance beyond this, to your right, it is possible to see the stones from the road through a gap in the hedge. Park at the next right. This lane is a overgrown and ends in a dead-end so don't worry about blocking it. There is a derelict stone cottage in the field. Follow the footpath over the stile and follow the hedge, you can't miss it.
We approached the stones with the tall hedge on our left, this way you can see only one stone, and it's an Avebury like stone, much wider and more square than the usual Anglesey stones. It is only when you are almost upon it do you see the other stone revealed at the end of the hedge you are walking along, and it is impressive a massive broad, flat, grey blade.
These mis-matching pair of stones will set your imagination alight. Firstly they are larger than anything else you will see locally (4m x 3m, 3m x 3m) and then after you can think coherently again there is the possibilty that they were once part of not one but two adjacent large stone circles. Then there is the longing for what has been swept away, but comfort at what remains.
A great site. Two stones used as gate posts (although thankfully the gate has gone now) on private land, ignored by CADW and the tourist board, as far as I can find out, an unexcavated site, but maybe the remains of the largest stone circle in all of Wales. Good for the soul, go visit.
Additional: CADW's guide to Anglesey and Gwynedd(p.38) has an 18th century illustration of the stones when they were incorporated into a cottage, the taller stone apparently still has notches on it, where purlins for the roof were attached.
An intersesting encounter with the Arch Druid of Anglesey reveled something of the folklaw of these stones. Until quite recent times these stones formed the only stone circle on Anglesey (his words), then the stone masons set to work! These two large stones which frame Snowdon, were reputedly cursed and they were left untouched! Well I'm not sure how he came across this piece of unrecorded history, but Francis Lynch (Prehistoric Anglesey) notes that in the Mid 1700's there were indeed 3 standing stones and the broken remains of a fourth. I also noticed the large stone set into the wall perhaps 30m from the site back towards the road.
Maybe half a mile away, in the same narrow band of land between the Afon Braint and the Afon Rhyd y Valley, there was another massive stone:
On a farm within this parish [Llangeinwen] there was, within these few years, a large stone pillar, which was probably one of those called Meini Gwyr, by Rowlands. It was about twelve feet high; but when the present farm-house was built, having no fear of antiquarian anger before their eyes, it was blasted, to make lintels for the doors and windows. The name of the farm, Maen Hir (the Long Pillar), however, preserves its memory.
From 'The History of North Wales' v2, by William Cathrall (1828).
Rowlands = his 'Mona Antiqua Restaurata'.
From the Gentleman's Magazine for 1799, volume 69; part of William Hutton's 'Remarks on a Tour in Wales'. I don't think the author made many friends that day, when he turned up in Caernarvon with his servant. For goodness' sake, of the passengers on the ferry "not one could speak English"! And as for the poor lad who was 'kindly ordered' by Esq. Floyd to conduct him to the Druidic remains - well, "whether he could speak Welsh, I know not, for I did not hear him speak a word in any language during his stay." Teenagers eh. Still, they got to Bryn Gwyn in the end:
Here was the court of justice for civil and religious purposes.. Here too was a principal place of worship, being in the vicinity of the Arch-druid's palace. Their church was a circle of upright stones, with a large one at the center. But the ignorant country people, imagining money was hid under them, recently tore them up, which destroyed, perhaps, the oldest cathedral in Europe. I am sorry Mr. Floyd suffered it; but that which is seen every day excites no attention.
Some of the stones are scattered, others brought into use. One of them, which is 12 feet by 7, exclusive of what is sunk in the earth, stands upright, and forms exactly the gable end of the house, for I saw but one in Bryn Gwyn. Another of the same size is also erect, and forms a fence for the garden. By what power they raised these ponderous masses I did not enquire, for I could not be favoured with one word of English.
Three only of the stones of the Temple are standing, which form a triangle, are about 4 feet high, and 24 asunder. I was now about two miles from the Menai and one North of the road which leads from the ferry to Newborough.
About 200 yards West, close by the river Breint (chief, or royal river), is the Astronomer's Stone; but why the learned in that day should take their observations in a valley, I leave to the learned in this. They seemed to be a cluster of rocks, five or six yards high, which I did not visit.
Continuing to be obsessed with druids and the nerve of the local people not speaking English, he also mentions Tre'r Dryw and Tre'r Dryw Bach which are earthworks to the north of Bryn Gwyn. It's not clear how old these are - you can read about them on the Coflein database, and here at Castell Bryn-Gwyn?. The excerpt above is online at Google Books.